Last Friday, in the beautiful area of Brandevoort in Helmond, the expert meeting took place. Afterwards I interviewed Ron Hensen who is involved in the organization of the expert meetings. Who is Ron Hensen?
I am a policy advisor on Spatial Planning [&] Living at ‘Samenwerkingsverband Regio Eindhoven’ . The SRE supports the administrative cooperation between the 21 municipalities in South-East Brabant and advises municipalities in the realization of some of their tasks. As project manager I am responsible for developing a new Regional Housing Policy for the period 2011-2020 .
We aim to use the results of expert meetings to formulate solid actions for future housing policy. In this case we wanted to explore what actions we can take within the regional housing policy to attach national and international knowledge workers to the region.
What did you want to achieve with the expert meeting on knowledge workers? We aim to use the results of expert meetings to formulate solid actions for future housing policy. In this case we wanted to explore what actions we can take within the regional housing policy to bind national and international knowledge workers to the region. Who was there? Representatives of municipalities, council and state members, housing associations, project developers, consultants, the Expat Center Brabant, (ex)-expats and Philips Research were present.
What happened? Through presentations from three different perspectives – researchers, Expat Center Brabant and project developers – we examined how the national and international knowledge worker can be connected to our region. On the basis of hands-on workshops and interactive discussions, these perspectives were deepened. Were there any surprising outcomes? Not surprisingly, it was concluded that knowledge workers have the same needs as any other citizen; a pleasant living environment that matches their needs.
Surprisingly though, the conclusion was that the challenge to bind knowledge workers is not in developing the hardware (thus creating unique living environments with special properties), but more in the software: e.g. providing information in English, bringing supply and demand together (suitable location, rent/purchase, size),[nbsp] creating places to meet and exchange info. Another remark heard was that an improvement can be made in convenience for the knowledge worker before moving into a property. For example this could be in the form of pre-arrangements for connecting to utilities (gas, water, electric, telecoms, etc). What are you going to do with it? With the results of the expert meetings we propose a solid action program.
This describes what actions will be taken in the next few years to improve the housing and environment of the knowledge worker and which parties are responsible for implementing those actions. If you like more informationon the development of the Regional Housing Policy 2011-2020 and the results of the expert meeting on knowledge workers please visit www.soulife.nl/sre